More details emerge about NYC’s ‘ugly’ racial equity training as teachers are told to favor black students

grab from https://youtu.be/DGdy1uy_TGQ
Screen grab … Chancellor Richard Carranza and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio … Credit: ABC7NY

More and more details are being reported about the highly controversial “racial equity” training that is ongoing in New York City schools following the arrival of Richard Carranza as schools chancellor. Workshops that teachers and staff are required to attend are telling them to focus on black children, regardless of their socio-economic status, according to a New York Post report.

“If I had a poor white male student and I had a middle-class black boy, I would actually put my equitable strategies and interventions into that middle-class black boy because over the course of his lifetime he will have less access and less opportunities than that poor white boy,” training consultant Darnisa Amante said as reported by those in the room.

“That’s what racial equity is,” she said.

A Jewish superintendent in the training was reportedly “scolded and humiliated” after describing her family’s Holocaust tragedies. The Post reported …

One Jewish superintendent shared stories about her grandmother Malka who told of bombs falling in Lodz, Poland, and running from the Nazis in the wee hours by packing up her four children and hiding in the forest, and her grandfather Naftali, who spent nearly six years in a labor and concentration camp, where he witnessed the brutal execution of his mother and sister.

“My grandparents taught me to understand the dangers of ‘targeted racism’ or the exclusion of any group, and the importance of equity for all people. This is my core value as an educator,” the superintendent told colleagues.

“At the break, I stood up and, to my surprise, I was verbally attacked by a black superintendent in front of my colleagues. She said ‘This is not about being Jewish! It’s about black and brown boys of color only. You better check yourself.'”

“I was traumatized,” the Jewish educator said. “It was like 1939 all over again. I couldn’t believe this could happen to me in NYC!”

“It’s completely absurd — they want to treat black students as victims and punish white students. That defeats the purpose of what bias awareness training should be,” said Mona Davids, president of the NYC Parents Union, who is black.

According to a department spokesman, Will Mantell, this training is used all over the country. “Anti-bias and equity trainings are about creating high expectations and improving outcomes for all of our students. These trainings are used across the country because they help kids, and out-of-context quotes and anonymous allegations just distract from this important work,” he said in a statement.

The “anti-bias” training, a $23-million program, has stirred strong reactions from administrators, teachers, and parents, according to the Post, who say that certain elements are ugly and divisive.

A lawsuit against the city’s Department of Education for racial discrimination is being filed by several white female executives that say they were demoted because “whiteness has become toxic.”

The Post reported that a Manhattan middle school teacher said the training “is a catalyst for hate and division.” She said, “I have colleagues who won’t participate during ‘Courageous Conversations’ (the title for implicit-bias workshops) because they don’t feel safe.”

She said that training phrases like “replacement thinking” and the disdain for “whiteness” is disturbing.

“My ancestors were enslaved and murdered because of their religion. I am now being forced to become ‘liberated’ from my whiteness. I am being persecuted because of the circumstances of my birth. I was not aware that I needed to be liberated from how God created me,” said the teacher.

Carranza contends that those who complain about the training need it the most, but she said, “I will never be brainwashed by Richard Carranza and his minions. I cannot support a schools chancellor who is implicitly biased against me and my children.”

Some of Carranza’s new top execs are enthusiastic about the program, using the expression “disrupt and dismantle” as a battle cry for transforming NYC schools.

In February, Amante told top-level managers, “Through this process of moving towards racial equity, we will have to pull layers back on who we are. You are going to have to talk about your power and your privilege. You will need to name your privilege.”

She also warned that jobs in the new climate may be vulnerable, saying “You are going to have to acknowledge that you will have to step back. You might fear losing your job. When we get to true racial equity you will have to define new institutional policies. This might feel dangerous because you are going to have to talk about race daily.”

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